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Simon effect


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The tendency for choice reaction time to be shorter and responses more accurate when stimulus (1) and response occur in the same relative location, even if location is irrelevant to the task. Thus, if respondents are instructed to press a left-hand button whenever a cross appears on a screen and a right-hand button whenever a circle appears, then reactions are generally faster and more accurate on congruent trials on which crosses appear on the left of the screen and circles appear on the right than on incongruent trials, suggesting that location information cannot be ignored in decision making, even if it is irrelevant. In Simon's original experiments, participants moved a lever left or right in response to stimuli presented to their left or right ears. Compare Stroop effect. [Named after the US psychologist J(ennings) Richard Simon (born 1929), who first reported the effect in articles in the Journal of Experimental Psychology in 1968 and 1969]

Subjects: Psychology.


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